Coal India to open new mines and expand existing ones as demand soars

The announcement comes as India looks to boost coal-fired power capacity amid continued high demand.

Indian state-run company Coal India will begin operations at five new coal mines and expand the capacity of at least 16 existing mines to help meet growing demand for the fossil fuel, the company’s chairman, P.M. Prasad, told reporters on Wednesday. Anticipated record output from the company is set to boost coal inventories at power plants across the country by 16.1% year-on-year, hitting 40 million tonnes (mt) by the end of March, Prasad told Reuters. The miner plans to start operations at five new mines, which will have a combined annual capacity of 14.3mt, in the next fiscal year, Prasad said.

The company stands as the world’s biggest coal miner and saw profits and share prices surge over the past year. It is finally on track to exceed production targets for the second year running, Prasad said, after falling short of output goals for 16 straight years.

Coal India is aiming to boost output by more than 7% for the coming fiscal year starting 1 April, hoping to end on a record 838mt. It holds initial stockpiles of 80mt, up more than 15% from the same period last year.

The miner has already awarded nine projects with a combined annual capacity of 83mt to private companies, with another two projects capable of producing 32mt expected to be awarded before the end of next month, Prasad said.